James Van Buren and Teddy Edwards: Live at Vartan Jazz

Singer James Van Buren’s timbre and style reflect close study of the Eddie Jefferson oeuvre. Titles include Richie Cole’s tribute, “Eddie Jefferson,” and “Things Are Getting Better” by Cannonball Adderly. Bassist Harvie Swartz (associated with many greats, viz., Dexter Gordon) is heard obligato on “What A Wonderful World” and in a lovely arco solo on “Skylark.” Expert support is provided by pianist Mark Soskin (ex-Sonny Rollins) and drummer Joe LaBarbera, who worked with Bill Evans until the pianist’s death.

This CD, recorded April 1995 during a Denver concert, needs more space for veteran tenorman Teddy Edwards. Ballads like “Somewhere Along The Way,” and “Nature Boy” are not Van Buren’s forte.